From the battlefield to the Opera, Ukrainian tenor performs in Southwest Florida

Reporter: Jacquelyn Kisic
Published: Updated:

There’s a new, strong, powerful voice coming from Gulfshore Opera. It belongs to Leoind Shoshyn.

“I’m still in shock I still can’t believe,” reflected Shoshyn, who is a tenor with Gulfshore Opera.

But the musical master also carries another title – soldier. Shoshyn was on tour in Germany when he heard the news that Russia invaded Ukraine.

That’s when he went from a navy button tux to a green military uniform. He become a volunteer soldier looking for traps and bombs from Russian troops.

“People dying every day because of rockets and like all civilization world can stop it. It’s my parent’s life; my friend’s life. It’s real thing,” explained Shoshyn.

Gulfshore Opera general director, Steffanie Pearce, explained it has been a year-long process to get Leoind a visa to come perform for the local opera company. He will make his first American debut as Prince Calaf in Puccini’s famous play “Turandot.”

“He had to work with his opera house to get a release. You have to prove that they have been working internationally and have won international awards,” stated Pearce.

“You want to live in this society because this Ukrainian people now know what life is more than any they appreciate. We appreciate life more than that,” Shoshyn said. “We know that what it is a privilege to have peaceful freedom live.”

Leoind will be working with Gulfshore Opera for the next two months until his visa expires. Then he’ll go back to Odessa, Ukraine to be with his family.

For Turandot location and ticket information, click here.

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